Todo exhibition for Cowra gallery

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2014 “CITYNEWS” Artist of the Year, ‘Man of Steel’, Kensuke Todo, is off to Cowra Regional Art Gallery this weekend to open a new show curated by Peter Haynes.

Kensuke Todo, photo Holly Treadaway.
Kensuke Todo, photo Holly Treadaway.

It’s a perfect match for the Kyoto-born Canberra steel sculptor, a rising star who has made his home in Canberra. The thriving gallery in the central west of NSW is home to often-provocative exhibitions that reflect the close ties between Cowra and Japan, fostered in the wake of the the tragic World War II Cowra breakout.

According  to the director of the gallery, Brian Langer, the artist draws on the traditions of the country of his birth and the Modernist tradition of Western art as the bases for his sculptural practice. His singularly original creations reconcile the differences between these two very different traditions.

Kensuke Todo Junction II mild steel, 9 x 107.6x 75.1cm. Courtesy the artist and King Street Gallery on William.
Kensuke Todo Junction II mild steel, 9 x 107.6x 75.1cm. Courtesy the artist and King Street Gallery on William.

Haynes told “CityNews” earlier this week that the show would be much the same as “Kensuke Todo: A Survey,” which he curated for the ANU Drill Hall Gallery, with the addition of some recent works. Last year Haynes wrote of his “mild steel sculptures that contrast industrial impersonality with the simulated softness and intimate warmth of bedding materials,” describing the works as “paradoxical.”

Last year Todo was a unanimous choice for Artist of the Year. His work ranges from abstract sculptures to more representative works and brings together Japanese and Western influences. One of his sculptures, “Rest,” was purchased by the ACT Legislative Assembly and another is in the front garden of the Commonwealth Club.

Todo came to Canberra from Japan as an exchange student in 1999 speaking very little English but went on to complete his master’s degree and to settle in Canberra in 2003.

Of his adopted home he says, “Canberra feels like my home town … it’s not too large, not too small.”

“Kensuke Todo: Sculptures and Drawing,” a Cowra Regional Art Gallery exhibition curated by Peter Haynes, Consultant, Art Writer, Art Historian and Heritage Advisor. At  77 Darling St Cowra (Opposite the World Peace Bell). Opening by Haynes  and floor talk by Todo 2pm this Saturday June 20 , then the show runs June 21-July 26, Tues-Sat 10-4 and Sun 2-4.

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Helen Musa
“CityNews” arts editor

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